Tesco lodges planning application for retail unit in Cork town

The retail giant has lodged a planning application with Cork County Council to develop a 3,739 square metre retail unit on a site on the east of Mill Road and north of Courthouse Road.
Tesco lodges planning application for retail unit in Cork town

Tesco has lodged a planning application with Cork County Council to develop a 3,739 square metre retail unit on a site on the east of Mill Road and north of Courthouse Road.

NEWS of a planning application by Tesco Ireland to develop a retail unit in Fermoy has been welcomed by politicians and business owners in the town, with some sounding a note of caution about traffic congestion.

The retail giant has lodged a planning application with Cork County Council to develop a 3,739 square metre retail unit on a site on the east of Mill Road and north of Courthouse Road.

The site covers the old Barry’s Timber Yard and a field which was previously used as an overflow parking area for the old mart, and, apart from occasional use as a temporary market-place, has been disused for several years.

Tesco Ireland’s planning application also includes a proposed 323 square metre café/restaurant and a 259 square foot retail unit.

The development would include a proposed 150 car parking spaces and 72 cycle parking spaces, as well as “a public plaza linking Courthouse Road and Mill Road”.

The application also includes a proposed “set-down/loading bay” on Courthouse Road, something which may prove controversial locally, given what one local business owner, who declined to be named, described as Fermoy’s “perpetual traffic jam from the courthouse up to Pearse Square”.

Development welcome, but concerns remain

Fianna Fáil County Councillor Deirdre O’Brien said that while she would welcome the new development, she hoped that it would not exacerbate traffic congestion in the town.

“It’s great that the site will, hopefully, be developed, but I would be concerned about traffic, and I would hope that my concerns will be addressed,” Councillor O’Brien said.

Michael Lyons of Lyons’ Pharmacy, who is chairman of the Fermoy Forum, a voluntary collaborative group of businesses and organisations, said the development of a site long derelict was very welcome but voiced his concerns about traffic.

“It’s fantastic for the town, but we do need to look at traffic infrastructure.

“Between the development of the primary care centre and this proposed development, it will be a great boost for the town, so long as we get the traffic situation right,” he said.

Noel Barnes, of Barnes Jewellers on Patrick Street, welcomed the news too, saying it could only be a positive development for Fermoy, but echoed concerns about traffic.

“I’m all for it, I think it’s great, but my only concern is that traffic on Patrick Street is already crazy as it is, and I do think that something will have to be done to alleviate that,” Mr Barnes said.

David Ryan, owner of the Amber Service Station on the north of the town, and Hannah’s Restaurant on Patrick’s Street, said he welcomed the development, but with some caution.

“Any new development is always welcome, but I do think that, in terms of retail food, we are already well serviced in the town.

“I would also have serious concerns about traffic, as the situation is already chaotic as it is,” Mr Ryan said.

Fine Gael County Councillor Noel McCarthy said he would welcome anything that would help to revive the town.

“I think it’s great to see development of a site that’s been idle for a long time, and anything that brings more jobs and footfall into Fermoy I would welcome with open arms,” he said.

Fianna Fáil County Councillor Frank O’Flynn said he would like to see the plans, but he was happy to see something positive happening with the old Barry’s Timber Yard.

“I’m delighted at the prospect of jobs coming to the town, first in construction, and later in retail, and the prospect of increased parking spaces in the heart of the town is great.”

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